Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ninth Circuit Opening Brief on CAT Claim

Finish my initial draft on a Deferral of Removal Claim under the United Nations Convention Against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment of Punishment. Because our client had a prior criminal conviction that fell under the definition of an aggravated felony, the only potential relief available was under CAT.

What is interesting about the facts in this case is that had he been a citizen of any other country in the world, he would have been granted relief. Because he is from Mexico, the IJ and the BIA both held that he could safely relocate inside of Mexico.

In their decision, the BIA cited the 9th Circuit Case of Lemus-Galvan v. Holder, 518 F.3d 1081 (9th Cir. 2009) for the proposition that an applicant for relief under CAT must "establish that internal relocation within Mexico was impossible.

My argument is that this impermissibly shifts the burden of proof from the more likely than not standard to this unattainable impossibility standard.

The brief is due in the court next Monday. Keep your posted.

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